They are facing domestic terrorism charges, which, if they are convicted, could result in a maximum sentence of life in federal prison, law enforcement said.
“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” Tom Beall, the acting U.S. Attorney for Kansas, said. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I have that such things could happen here.”
An affidavit signed by FBI special agent Tracey Jenkins (embedded below) details law enforcement's investigation into the group's activities. The men were operating in a group that called itself the Crusaders and in an overlapping organization known as the Kansas Security Force, according to the affidavit.
"These are militia groups whose members support and espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti- Muslim, and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs," the affidavit said.
The investigation uncovered stockpiles of firearms and explosive materials, as well as a manifesto, Beall said at the press conference.
"One of them said, 'The bombing would wake people up,'" Beall said.
According to the affidavit, the men were recorded numerous times by an unnamed FBI source discussing their plans while smearing Muslims and immigrants.
"The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim,” Stein said in a recording, according to the affidavit. He later added: "If you’re a Muslim I’m going to enjoy shooting you in the head.”
The suspects allegedly planned to attack the housing complex, where approximately 120 people live and where one of the apartments was used as a mosque, the officials said. They planned to use four vehicles, each filed with explosive and parked at each corner of the parking lot, to create a big explosion, according to the affidavit.
Beall at the press conference said the group's plans were "isolated."
They also considered targeting churches and public officials who supported the Somali community, as well as the landlords that rented to the immigrants, the officials said.
"The only fucking way this country’s ever going to get turned around is it will be a bloodbath and it will be a nasty, messy motherfucker," Stein said in a recording, according to the affidavit. "Unless a lot more people in this country wake up and smell the fucking coffee and decide they want this country back...we might be too late, if they do wake up...I think we can get it done."
Allen, one of the men allegedly behind the plans, had been arrested in a domestic violence case in Liberal this week, according to officials. Stein, another of the men arrested Friday, had told an FBI source that there were concerns Allen's girlfriend would inform the police in Liberal of the group's alleged plans, Beall said.
Eric Jackson, an FBI special agent, said at the press conference that authorities believed the attack was planned for November so it would not effect the election. "We don't which way they were concerned but not to have an effect on the election," Jackson said.
Jackson also noted the area's "sizable" Somali population, with many immigrants working at a local meat plant. "This would have had a significant impact on that community,” he said.
This story has been updated as more information has become available.
Read the full affidavit below: